Salvatore Simeone

by Lichele Pace

Salvatore  Simeone is a man I love and admire. He is my Grandfather.   He was attending Norwich University in Northfield Vermont when World War II started. Norwich was a military college. He was very upset about what was happening in Europe. World War II was a worldwide conflict involving every major power in the world. He volunteered with his entire junior class to go into the war. He said “I wanted to help protect our country from Nazi Germany who was looking for world domination.” 

                                                   Official Training 
          The following is his story of his 22 month involvement in World War II. In February 1943 Salvatore Simeone officially entered the war. He was first sent to Fort Riley Kansas for basic training, and then chosen to go to officer cadet school at Fort Knox Kentucky to become a tank commander. When he graduated as a  tank commander, the war was causing the loss of so many infantry officers, especially in Africa and Italy.  He was first sent to Infantry school in Alabama. Upon graduating from there He was assigned to the 65th infantry division.

  Salvatore getting his Purple Heart medal.
                                      Medals of Honor
         Salvatore went overseas in November 1944 to France. He was committed into combat to the Siegfried line against German troops. “The Siegfried line was a massive line of defense that the Germans built to keep us out. They did things like put up barbed wire; they had pill boxes with machine guns in them. This is where we lost most of our men,” my grandfather explained to me.  He was in the third army commanded by General George Patton. My grandfather told me, “He was famous leader for the United States. He was a three star general who made history. He was known for his fast moves. They made a movie about him!” He was also injured during the war and received a Purple Heart medal and also a Bronze Star for bravery during the incident. At this point during his story my Grandfather got all chocked up and said “I am very proud of these medals and love to show my grandchildren.” 


                               The Camps
        Towards the end of the war my Grandfather met the Russians in Linz, Austria where the war ended. But his stay in Europe did not end. He represented the United States in Football and Hockey all over Europe. He explained; “I mostly played hockey. I was Captain and Coach of the US hockey team stationed at Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Austria. That is where the 1936 Olympics weere held.” He ended up spending 22 months overseas involved in World War II. I wanted to know what my Grandfather’s most memorable experience was. He said “The most memorable experience I had was freeing a concentration camp in Austria. The name escapes me now, but we freed many people who were minutes away from dying. That one experience made everything worth it for me. To save all those people from death.” 
   Salvatore playing hockey.


My Granfather and his friend.

                                   The return
        He returned to the United States in August 1946. He went back to Norwich University as a senior. “I graduated with my Civil Engineering degree. I also continued playing hockey at Norwich where I was Captain and coached .”  I have to say I am so happy that I have gotten this assignment. I spent a very long time with my Grandfather on the phone, He is in Florida now.  I never realized what my Grandfather went through in World War II. I am so proud of him. I hope everyone has gotten a better understanding of  World War II from my interview with my Grandfather. Now you can all see why I love and admire him!

                                                                                                              Interview with Salvatore Simeone January 2007                    

Pictures taken from World War 2 Photo album

family   Salvatore still has a wonderful life today!!